It’s been a while since the Worblers made it to NYC to skate Manhattan. With 80 degree weather coinciding with spring break back in March, we decided to make the trip, leaving early one morning at 5:00 AM. The phenomenon of Manhattan still astounds. The clean, hard order of its shiny edifices laid out in a perfect grid is a testament to the power of man’s reason. There is a logic, even precision, to the seemingly chaotic swarm and bustle of crowds within this grid. Frankly though, the order, the grandeur, and the busyness of the grid felt slightly imposing, even stifling. But then we made our way to the center.

The center of Manhattan is grid-less and green. This was where we spent our first afternoon. At first central park seems pretty tame; it’s equipped with playgrounds, fountains, baseball fields, and smooth sidewalks that allow for a seemless transition from the urban to the arboreal. But an old wildness still haunts the park’s grounds. Stark hulks of bedrock bearing old glacial claw marks interrupt the smooth picturesque scenery. We had lunch on one of these rocks along with many other park goers. Here in the park we felt a little more welcomed, more at harmony with people and place than we had upon first arriving in the city. Central park seems to humanize, but at the same time its rocks impart their wildness. Leaving the park we felt a little more human, but a little more wild too and this shaped the way we saw and skated the rest of the city.

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